Travelling at South of the Sea Part 3

Sanya (三亚) lies at the southernmost tip of Hainan Island. The theme for our tour around Sanya today was “Longevity” (寿). As one would often hear well-wishers go, “福如东海, 寿比南山” which also means, may you (the one who received the well wishes) have fortune as vast as the East Sea and longevity as great as the South Mountain. Hence, our tour began with a visit to the East Sea and it concluded with the Nan Shan Temple and may all the visitors to these places and travelling on this route enjoy the blessing as the saying.

1st Stop: East Sea

Side Note: Our tour guide has highlighted to us that it is illegal for these roadside stalls to be selling these corals so please remember not to purchase any! These corals, upon checks at the immigration clearance will be confiscated.

Before heading to Nan Shan Temple, we stopped over for a complimentary foot reflexology session. After giving it a try, I decided I still like the one I had in Indonesia, Batam better.

The tour group we were travelling with

Side Note: At each of these pit stop, we are usually treated to a demonstration session or gifted with a complimentary item. There will be sales people approaching each and everyone, recommending their in-house products, in hope to push their more exquisite items for one to buy. It was, however, non-obligatory and entirely up to one’s discretion to purchase the item/s.

Soon after, we returned to the coach and headed North.

2nd Stop: Nanshan Culture Tourism Zone

不二法門

We paid an additional SGD22 for the tram ride that brought us around the entire park but it was worth it. The park is huge!

Scriptures

Scenic View from the tram

Side Note: Some of these temples (like the one in the picture above) require visitors to pay an admission charge.

Lunch was at the vegetarian restaurant within the park and there was a wide variety of vegetarian dishes for one to choose from. I liked how the place encourages the patrons to take the amount which they can eat as the dishes are served on a buffet table and people tend to be a little too greedy at times.

After lunch, we took the train and went to the Nanshan Temple. On our way, I spotted this beautiful plantation of Bodhi Trees. Do you know that it is under this very tree that the Buddha achieved enlightenment? Interestingly, it is easily recognized by its heart-shaped leaves.

Finally reaching the Nanshan Temple!

The enchanting sight of the 3-faced Golden Jade Guan-Yin Statue on the sea

At the Nanshan Temple, devotees can offer joss sticks and pay their respects to the deities.

After the tour around the Nanshan Temple, we took the tram to get nearer to the 3-Faced Golden Statue of Guan Yin on the sea.  Along the way, one would notice many elephant statues. I am not sure of its significance but I made Poh take a picture with the adorable animal anyway.

Spotting the formidable statue of Guan Yin

Standing at a height of 108 metres, this Guan Yin statue is the tallest of its kind in the world. Read more about it here!

Poh and I did not cross the bridge to get to where the statue was and we were told by a fellow traveller we made the right choice. Apparently, one would need to pay an admission charge to see the 3 faces of the Guan Yin Statue. The traveller who is a Buddhist devotee said that he was really looking forward to going round the statue and felt let down that he would need to pay another sum to do so. So, to visitors who would like to see the 3 faces of the statue, make sure you bring money along!

Last shot before we return to the city

We had a mini tea session before our dinner at Tea Professor where one could purchase Pu-er tea leaves as well as their local KuDing tea leaves which is said to have medicinal values.

Pu-Er Tea Leaves are usually packaged in discs as such.

According to the sales person, if one chooses to purchase Pu-Er Tea Leaves and not drink them, its value increases and one could always bring it back to any outlet bearing the same name in China in exchange for 3 more Pe-Er Tea discs. Of course, the tea leaves would have to be kept for 5 – 7 years. Hmmm… I wonder if anyone would have that patience… to keep the tea for that period of time or to look for the tea disc when the time is ripe .

I’ll end the post with an interesting dish we had for dinner: The Coconut Broth.

Served in a coconut husk, the broth is made with coconut milk, herbs and chicken. It taste mildly sweet and smells of what else but coconut. It was not to the liking of many of the travellers who were with us as many of us are Singaporeans and using coconut to cook soup isn’t our thing. Coconut reminds most of us of the local dessert chendol or perhaps curry? 😉 As a person with a sweet tooth, I do find it quite delectable. Try it for yourself!

Til the next post! 🙂

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